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#1 Marty C

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:23 PM

To all:

I work in a wet food manufacturing environment. There are raw vegetables being flumed to processing equipment. Outerwear typically consists of a shirt with snaps in the front that is laundered by a service. Pants are worn from home. 

The FDA is now asking that work uniforms are protected when employees need to go outside for any reason.

 

My question is:

Is there a best practice for protecting outer garments from the outdoors for smokers, etc.?

 

 

Thanks to the community for any input.

 

Best regards,

 

Marty C



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:28 PM

Best practice would be to have employees change out of their uniform and into the street clothes they came in with to go out and smoke.  That way ash/smoke/etc isn't sitting on the uniform when they go back into production.

 

That being said I've worked in, and seen places, that allowed their workers to smoke in their uniform... nobody died.


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#3 theresa1

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:08 PM

hi ..surely its not really about the physical hazards associated with smoking and the outdoors ,but the micros...i believe its a basic requirement not to wear uniforms outside...

just a thought :) 



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#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:12 PM

Micro is included in the etc which is basically... and everything else.

 

It might be a requirement in Ireland but as I said I've worked in a place and know a place that it isn't.  One of those places was a milk plant so.. high water activity and if you contaminate after the HTST there is no protection. 

 

All localities have different laws on what is able to be done versus what is best to do. 

 

That all being said everyone in the United States is bracing for the impact of FSMA which nobody is really sure yet what exactly that will entail.


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#5 Ekivlen

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:19 PM

... nobody died.

 

Now there's the right attitude.  :spoton:



#6 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:26 PM

Now there's the right attitude.  :spoton:

 

Thanks... I try really hard sometimes.

 

I mean honestly.  I understand everything but sometimes I think things get taken a bit too far at times.  When FSSC says within TS22002 that you have to have written in a policy that writing utensils are not permitted to be carried behind the ear... really?  You actually have to put that IN a policy... pretty much in your GMPs... but how stupid and prescriptive is that?  I could train that and be effective.  Hell I could get together with everyone before the shift and have on the spot training... not the kind of training where I kill people with PowerPoint... but it's right there in the standard.  I'm not lying... promise.


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#7 theresa1

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:36 PM

original question was ...best practice?....

 

simply dont do it .... a risk is a risk in any country



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#8 Ekivlen

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:04 PM

I mean honestly.  I understand everything but sometimes I think things get taken a bit too far at times.  When FSSC says within TS22002 that you have to have written in a policy that writing utensils are not permitted to be carried behind the ear... really?  You actually have to put that IN a policy... pretty much in your GMPs... but how stupid and prescriptive is that?  I could train that and be effective.  Hell I could get together with everyone before the shift and have on the spot training... not the kind of training where I kill people with PowerPoint... but it's right there in the standard.  I'm not lying... promise.

I hear you there. And I feel your pain.

We had a temp employee jam his finger and break it coming out of the bathroom on his second day on the job. The temp service suggested that we schedule a training to attempt to eliminate a risk. I can understand HACCP training, allergen control training, food defense, etc. But opening the bathroom door???? Job security I suppose.



#9 Snookie

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:18 PM

I hear you there. And I feel your pain.

We had a temp employee jam his finger and break it coming out of the bathroom on his second day on the job. The temp service suggested that we schedule a training to attempt to eliminate a risk. I can understand HACCP training, allergen control training, food defense, etc. But opening the bathroom door???? Job security I suppose.

 

Maybe he hasn't been using bathrooms or their doors very long.......scary :yikes:.   Seriously though Temp service suggested a training on how to avoid an injury opening a bathroom door.....think you need a new temp service.  The people they hire lack some brain cells. 


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#10 Snookie

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:21 PM

Thanks... I try really hard sometimes.

 

I mean honestly.  I understand everything but sometimes I think things get taken a bit too far at times.  When FSSC says within TS22002 that you have to have written in a policy that writing utensils are not permitted to be carried behind the ear... really?  You actually have to put that IN a policy... pretty much in your GMPs... but how stupid and prescriptive is that?  I could train that and be effective.  Hell I could get together with everyone before the shift and have on the spot training... not the kind of training where I kill people with PowerPoint... but it's right there in the standard.  I'm not lying... promise.

 

I agree with you.  GMP says nothing from the waist up...last time I checked the ear is above the waist.  I rarely see a pen behind the ear anymore.  Your right its stupid. 


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#11 Snookie

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:16 PM

original question was ...best practice?....

 

simply dont do it .... a risk is a risk in any country

 

But is it a risk?  We are talking produce that came from a field.  We do not live in a sterile environment and trying to make everything sterile is probably not safe from a health standpoint either.  I am all for the safest possible food.  But needs to be some sanity or we are going to starve because very few people will be able to afford the cost of all the safety. 


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#12 cazyncymru

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

I'm not sure about in the rest of the world, but in the UK there is one thing that annoys me to the point of silliness.

 

That's seeing a nurse, in uniform, outside of her (his) working environment!

 

I don't want to see a nurse, who's spent the morning cleaning up bodily fluids, handling fruit & veg etc at my local supermarket!

 

Nor do I want to see that same nurse come into work the next day, in potentially the same uniform, having spend the evening stroking her cat, or having washed her uniform with soiled nappies (diapers!), or their sitting outside having their fag, having their lunch. No wonder infection is s high in hospitals, washing your hands comes nowhere near controlling infection!

 

Why can't they change in work, and get their clothes laundered , the same as the food industry has to?

 

Caz x



#13 trubertq

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:13 AM

Change out of the clothes before leaving the work environment...simples...

 

and Caz I'm with you on the nurses uniforms, and I think the doctors should be wearing white coats too, less fashion more infection protection methinks


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#14 RuiM

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:57 AM

All,

Sometimes, when I was a student, my group used the mall near university, to have lunch. The mall have direct connection with the Hospital.
All days, in lunch time we saw, not the nurses, but the doctors, in group of 3 or 5, to have lunch in the middle of everyone, with their white uniform... and of course their stethoscope around the neck! Unfortunatly is not fashion, but a status feeling. Without their uniforms no one knew that they were doctors.

Just one example, after my microbiology courses (or others), all of us wash our hands and take off the uniform used.

 

It´s a matter of consciousness...

 

Rgds.



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#15 monkeyman

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:10 AM

I also hate seeing supermarket staff standing outside smoking, puts me off going in. Same goes for if I saw a chef going for a wee in his overalls (splashback!). 

 

From a food safety risk point of view I think you need to do a risk assessment and see what the different hazards are and what you can do to prevent those hazards.

However the easiest solution is to implement overall control as a prerequisite and remove for these activities.



#16 Sharon (Dewsbury)

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:02 PM

I agree , but what about district nurses who travel around in their uniforms doing home visits and pop to the shops in their lunch breaks who have to change at home.

 

ANYWAY back to Best practice.

 

Our staff wear smoking jackets! They put a company issue fleece or at the very lease a disposable paper overall on to go for a smoke. The fleeces are are a barrier to their uniform and from a pool of garments on  a cleaning schedule.  We have 2 colours on rotation. Brown are cleaned one week and we wear the green ones which are cleaned the week after. You need to document your actions in a risk assessment to justify your choices. The cleaning frequency is risk based as well depending on number of staff who smoke and the number of breaks they have. It would take too long for the staff to change in and out of their uniforms to have a break.

Regards

Sharon



#17 Jim E.

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 07:37 PM

I will throw a slider in to the question and answer period.  I know we require our employees to wear smocks or coverall on the production floor, going out for a break they remove said garmets.  In house laundry cleaned every day when dropped off.  All good so far, what if there is the need to go outside for work?  The maintenance guy or a shipper that needs to seal a tractor trailer for shipment. We say part of the job so okay to go out side, however contamination potential is still there and they come back into the facility and carry on with thier job.



#18 Miss Tammy

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:00 PM

All of our employees wear a company issued snap up smock over a plain white T-shirt and pants from home.  They must remove the smock before break room, bath room or going out side.  We provide hooks to hang them prior to all of these . 



#19 fgjuadi

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

I will throw a slider in to the question and answer period.  I know we require our employees to wear smocks or coverall on the production floor, going out for a break they remove said garmets.  In house laundry cleaned every day when dropped off.  All good so far, what if there is the need to go outside for work?  The maintenance guy or a shipper that needs to seal a tractor trailer for shipment. We say part of the job so okay to go out side, however contamination potential is still there and they come back into the facility and carry on with thier job.

Good point.  At my last factory we had outside storage & huge tankers, a ton of in and out movement.  We addressed captive footwear but never uniforms.  Actually we would have visitors tour in their ppe & uniform even for the outside portion.  We let employees go outside to smoke in their uniforms there.  But uniforms were pants and a polo made out of some awful material, so changing would have been difficult.

 

At my current (and awesome!) job, we take our smocks off before we exit for anything - break room, smoke, talk to office staff, etc - but it is much easier as it is a one peice pull over street clothes & tie rather than work shirt/pants. 


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#20 KevinB

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:51 PM

We are an open cheese vat facility. All of our production employees wear company issued uniforms. They are removed when ever they take lunch or break and we are a non smoking facility so they have to leave the grounds to have there cancer sticks. The only acceptable reason to be outside in uniform is at the end of the day when they are removing the trash and then uniforms go into the hamper. Our uniforms are from a HACCP certified laundry service. 

 

And since we are throwing in pet peeves mine is restaurant employees out back by the dumpster smoking and eating in uniform.   



#21 KevinB

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:54 PM

Forgot to address the shoe issue. Anyone entering production needs go through foot baths before they can enter. 



#22 KevinB

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:57 PM

Thanks... I try really hard sometimes.

 

I mean honestly.  I understand everything but sometimes I think things get taken a bit too far at times.  When FSSC says within TS22002 that you have to have written in a policy that writing utensils are not permitted to be carried behind the ear... really?  You actually have to put that IN a policy... pretty much in your GMPs... but how stupid and prescriptive is that?  I could train that and be effective.  Hell I could get together with everyone before the shift and have on the spot training... not the kind of training where I kill people with PowerPoint... but it's right there in the standard.  I'm not lying... promise.

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